The Bolsheviks were the most organized and largest group on the far left, but they were not the only one. To their own left were groups of anarchists of various sizes, inclinations and degrees of influence. Decidedly a minority current, anarchism nonetheless enjoyed localised support across the empire, with various strongholds, such as Odessa — and Petrograd.
There in the capital, the most radical and influential were the Anarchist-Communists. Some of their leaders were held in esteem, like Iosif Bleikhman, a fiery, unkempt, charismatic figure who spoke his native Russian with what Trotsky described as a “Jewish-American accent” which his audiences enjoyed, and Shlema Asnin, a respected militant with the First Machine Gun Regiment, a dark-bearded former thief who dressed like a gothic cowboy, wide-brimmed hat, guns and all.
In the same chaotic expropriatory post-February wave during which the Bolsheviks moved into the Kshesinskaya Mansion, revolutionaries had taken and retooled the Vyborg summer home of the official P. P. Durnovo. Its gardens were now a park, with facilities for local children, and the building was hung with black banners reading “Death to all capitalists”. The house was the headquarters of several groups including the district bakers’ union, some far-left SR-Maximalists, and an Anarchist-Bolshevik group grandly styling itself as the Soviet of the Petrograd People’s Militia.
China Miéville, October: The Story of the Russian Revolution